Twenty Ten Project Dream Team photographer: Andrew Esiebo
Over the coming weeks we will be highlighting some of the content produced by individual members of the newly selected Dream Team. You can go directly to Africa Media Online to view the full articles and all images and gain publishing rights to them. The ‘Allstar’ and ‘Dream Team’ journalists of the Twenty Ten Project can be commissioned for specific projects in their home countries or in South Africa during the build-up to the 2010 World Cup. So, please feel free to contact us with story ideas you’d be interested in.
Andrew Esiebo has produced three great photo features over the past several months. Andrew is a respected and internationally recognized photographer who has had exhibits and residencies across Europe. His work has focused on urban portraiture, his images taken in Nigeria and Ghana capturing the essence of the story and conveying the importance that soccer plays in the lives of people across these two countries.
Games of Hope is a photo feature about the betting “pool houses across the country. The bettors play every week in the hope of winning the jackpot of up to 400,000 Naira – the equivalent of the average annual wage among workers in Nigeria. However, most bettors walk away empty handed and console themselves in the company of friends who gather at the pool houses to relax and engage in other forms of recreational activities such as card games, draughts and Ayo (a Yoruba board game).”
His second photo feature, Surviving Dreams, has 20 black-and-white images that tell the story of coach/evangelist, Sunny Omini, “an ex-football star who promising career was cut short by injuries. He later went into coaching but quit suddenly to become a Christian missionary. Years later he returned to the game, setting up the Signal Meteor Football Academy, a grassroots training academy for young men in danger of social exclusion. Today, he works with around 30 young men on what he calls a ‘church on the field’, helping them to build a brighter future through soccer.”
In his third feature, Soccer Worlds, Andrew captures images of the many spaces around Ghana that people find to play soccer in, “Open pieces of land in the country side, city main road, beaches, empty market grounds or the streets themselves – the game brings them alive.” These images are part of a bigger series of work that Andrew has been working on called Soccer Worlds.
See more of Andrew and the Dream Team’s work at African Media Online.